• Six3;
  • homeobox;
  • mouse;
  • optic vesicles;
  • transgenic;
  • Pax6


A few years ago, three novel murine homeobox genes closely related to the Drosophila sine oculis (so) gene (Six1-3) were isolated and were all included in the Six/so gene family. Because of its early expression in the developing eye field, Six3 was initially thought to be the functional ortholog of the Drosophila so gene. This hypothesis was further supported by the demonstration that ectopic Six3 expression in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) promotes the formation of ectopic lens and retina tissue. Here, we show that similar to Drosophila, where the eyeless/Pax6 gene regulates the eye-specific expression of so, Six3 expression in the murine lens placodal ectoderm is also controlled by Pax6. We also show that ectopic Six3 expression promotes the formation of ectopic optic vesicle-like structures in the hindbrain-midbrain region of developing mouse embryos. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.